August 2008

Life Jacket Loaner Program Seeks New Locations

Would You Like To Help Kids Stay Safe On The Water?

The easiest way to ensure a child's safety on the water is to make sure each wears a properly fitting life jacket. But, children's growth spurts or last-minute changes to the roster of invited guests don't always make wearing a life jacket easy.

Your marina, bait shop, fuel dock or boat club may be able to help next season as the BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is looking for new locations to become lending sites for its free Life Jacket Loaner Program.

Since the program was launched in 1997, at least three children's lives have been saved as a result of wearing a BoatU.S. Foundation life jacket. Over 90,000 life jackets are loaned out each year through the program, with demand up 22 percent in the last two years. The program was recently honored by the Partnership for a Safer Maryland as one of six leading injury-prevention programs in the state.

There is no cost to become a loaner site, and presently over 350 clubs and businesses participate as Life Jacket Loaner Program sites. The loaner life jacket kit consists of 12 life jackets in a protective container, signage and easy-to-use sign-out sheets to track usage. Various sizes of jackets are included.

To download an application to become a Life Jacket Loaner Program site or for more information on the program and the life jacket laws in your state, please visit Applications will be accepted until Sept. 30.

If hosting a loaner site isn't for you, a tax-deductible donation can help. "The need for this program continues to grow each year, and your donation will help parents keep their kids safe," said BoatU.S. Foundation President Ruth Wood.

Ten dollars will buy one vest-style life jacket, and $250 will create a completely new, fully stocked loaner site. Go to http:/ to make your donation online or mail your donation to: Kids Jackets, BoatU.S. Foundation, 880 South Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304.

<-- Back to Issue Table Of Contents